"Onomatopoeia", ca. 2014

Some songs are written in bathrooms. As songwriters, we should be honest about that. 

So anyway there I was, standing (too honest?) in my 7th floor corner apartment bathroom. It was the senior year of my college experience.

I loved writing in that apartment, because the high, wide window looked down on Los Angeles.

Every songwriter should have a good window; it keeps us far enough away to tend to our thoughts, but close enough to see life in action. 

 

In 2014, I was high off the premieres of my classical music, full of new knowledge, and ready to test myself. For the next few years, I would throw myself at any genres and sub-genres I had not yet tackled, just to prove that I could. 

"Onomatopoeia" was my Red Hot Chili Peppers-esque song. I still think they would crush it and hey, if they're listening, my bathroom is your bathroom. 

To achieve RHCP status, I went lyrics first. Every RHCP song has lyrics that are thought-provoking, rhythmic more than melodic, and figurative more than literal. Lines like

Come to soothe another sayer

keep an active tone, referring to lovers as soothe-sayers obliquely, but in a way that's possible to figure out. And it remains targeted on the idea of sound, which "Onomatopoeia" is all about. The next line,

Lover-lover through your hair

provides "hair" as a rhyme to "sayer", which requires some creative delivery to pull off, and heightens the sense that I'm playing with the English language. That's the vibe. 

Next, I went for the bass-line, because what RHCP song doesn't start with a riff-centric intro? I needed a component of the song that was interesting when played alone, but absolutely tight when the rest of it hits. 

The bass goes:

dew dew dew

dew dew dewwwww....

dew dah dah

DUHduh duh duh

na nya na

 

and it shall remain a mystery. 

Thanks for listening!